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If you like chai tea

Page history last edited by Stefanie Kompathoum 11 years, 2 months ago

Keep an eye out for Lindera Benzoin, known around here as Spicebush or Wild Allspice. 

It looks a bit like Witch Hazel, which blooms in late fall.  The berries are useful as a substitute for allspice.  This year, I tried a tea made from the twigs and flowers, and found it to be a surprisingly tasty rich chai-like flavor.  Sources state that you can drink the twig and leaf tea throughout the summer.  I'm not sure I can identify it well between flower and fruit, so I'm glad to have made acquaintance with the several individuals growing near my parents' house.

 

See also Fall foraging for a picture of a bowlful of berries.  They are like allspice with a zing of black pepper.  Great with fall squashes.  The berries grow along the stem, in pairs (see how the flowers issue directly from the stem?  Dogwood berries look similar but grow in bunches at the end of twigs. (And, dogwood berries don't have this distinctive yummy smell!)

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